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It is possible to escape WikiWord links by prepending a <nop> tag. Sometimes it makes sense to disable automatic linking of WikiWords for some parts of the text. To make that easier we have now a new <noautolink> tag, simply enclose your text with <noautolink> ... </noautolink> tags.

Example you type:

RedHat and SuSE are GNU-Linux distributors.

You get:

RedHat and SuSE are GNU-Linux distributors.

Is <noautolink> easy to remember? We could change the command before many people are starting to use it.

TextFormattingRules in the TWiki.TWiki web has been updated. Commited to TWikiAlphaRelease.

-- PeterThoeny - 02 Feb 2001

<noautolink> ??? ack! On one hand we are trying to make it easy for non HTML savvy people to edit text here, on the other hand we are teaching them new nowhere used tags? If we are voting on this, I vote against using <noautolink> etc. and for a simpler Wiki like way.

-- ManpreetSingh - 03 Feb 2001
I agree. The same goes for my NotifyChanges tag choice. using HTML style tags is weird.. and I keep findinf people at my work want to make a non-link name because they don't want a ? after the word. This is a feature that does not have a good reason for existing... (note that there is no justification on this page either..)

-- SvenDowideit - 03 Feb 2001

OK, nice to see some common sense! I put this in mainly because of a manager at work (on a different location) who was asking for this. I couldn't use a %...% variable because of timing differences (variables are evaluated before the WikiSyntax rendering); and I was considering alternatives to HTML tags but could not find any appealing solution. I basically agree with you, simple WikiSyntax is better (in line with our goal to keep CreepingFeaturitis to a minimum). My vote? See below.

BTW, anyone has any good idea (e.g. simple idea) of expressing non-variable commands? I never really liked HTML <tags> for that:

  • Escape single WikiWords (now <tags>WikiWord)
  • Pre-fomatted text (now <verbatim> or <pre> tags)

  • [ EdgarBrown - 06 Feb 2001 ] Simple commenting tag like C's or Java's /* ... */ would do nicely, of course a less used alternative like %%% ... %%% would probably be better for many of this tags. To keep things simple a tag modifier could always be added to change the actual rendering without requiring the user to learn a new syntax for every possible command (of course this starts sounding like HTML). Cons: we loose the nestability of HTML commands.

Regarding Pre-fomatted text, we have a pending ImplicitPreOrBlockquote feature, i.e. use implicit pre-formatting for indented paragraphs.

-- PeterThoeny - 03 Feb 2001

For <noautolink> 0
Against <noautolink> 4

The result of the vote is clear. I removed the documentation. (I leave the code, so the feature stays in as undocumented)

-- PeterThoeny - 10 Feb 2001

I'm not sure why <noautolink> frowned upon... It's very useful on pages in my company's TWiki that frequently reference BumpyCase variables and functions. The syntax is quite easy to remember, I find, although I'm not wild about using angle brackets. How about thinking up a new syntax - something like ''' might work, as it's unlikely to occur anywhere outside programming language text, which would be in an <verbatim> tag anyway.

-- RichardDonkin - 21 Sep 2001

Personally i don't like it because it enforces the attitude that some things don't ever need to be expanded on. Although you (personally) may not think that BumpyCase variables or functions should have WikiTopics for them, if someone dissagrees with you, and creates that topic, you have prevented it from being rendered as a link. By that original choice (because you don't like the questionmark) you have crippled part of your web.

  • if you are rendering code using the wiki then reducing it's ablilty to be doccumented is ... err... a bit dumb?
  • maybe we could change the issue by allowing the TwikiAdmin to set a different symbol of a non-exisiting topic..
  • i think i want a SpellCheckerPlugin
-- SvenDowideit - 21 Sep 2001

Regarding the ? after not-yet existing WikiWords.... I saw somewhere a Wiki using (?), but then in superscript: like NotYetExisting (?). Although NotYetExisting ? is looking beter IMO..

Maybe instead of letting people use <noautolink> perhaps a change of rendering should be considered.

-- HansDonner - 22 Sep 2001

Where someone is writing a page, or part of a page, they usually have a good idea whether anyone will create a topic corresponding to a BumpyCase word. The example I've seen is programmers using TWiki to maintain a 'laundry list' of functions that need to be cleaned up - since the local naming convention is BumpyCase, they are all potential Wiki links, but we are not going to be creating any pages for these function names (some may even disappear of course as part of cleaning up the code base). I think it is best to assume that the author of a page knows what they are doing - if the creator of a page that would be linked does not agree with the non-linking, they can of course find such pages using Ref-By and change them to create links.

In practice, when I create a new page, I often have to search for occurrences of that concept to convert them into WikiWords - only sometimes have people been sufficiently forward-thinking to create a WikiWord for such concepts in advance (though when they have done this, it's nice to have the auto-linking, and the '?' serves as a reminder to create the topic, which is useful).

It's not really a matter of changing the rendering, though a superscript would be less annoying; it's a question of being able to control linking in an easier way than having to type several <nop>'s per line, which only the most motivated users will do. An interesting example on TWiki.org is InterSiteLinkRules, which has many '?' links that cannot be NOPed in any case. Since <noautolink> is frowned upon for whatever reason, the result is messy looking pages that may put people off using TWiki, particularly technical users who already know HTML.

-- RichardDonkin - 23 Sep 2001

As you may have realised, I completely and vigourously disagree with the assertion that the orginal author knows what will be potential wiki links. by allowing the original author to resrict the functioality of the page, you are reducing the long term power of your wiki.

At some time i assume that we will have a plugin that will troll through wiki topics looking for potential phrases that match a WikiWord..

after a certain number of users the information on a wiki goes in unexpected directions. smile

-- SvenDowideit - 23 Sep 2001

I agree with Sven.

Martin, the reason why I mentioned the rendering is, because I believe most of the authors would not allow for linking becase of that annoying questionmark after their BumpyWords.

If they see theire code would be more interesting and usefull, because of the later created links to thier BumpyWords, I think they will then appreciate it if they have not shutt-off the auto linking.

-- HansDonner - 23 Sep 2001

Turning off auto-linking will be the exception, not the rule - however, the pages where it needs to be turned off look very messy (a forest of question-marks), which is not very impressive. Different people have different ways of using TWiki - just because you prefer auto-linking to always be on doesn't mean that everyone wants every page to work in this way.

I can't post the page I'm thinking of, but almost every line in the page has several function names that get interpreted as WikiWords - if we were to create topics for every such function name, the size of that web would increase massively, and nobody is likely to do this for quite some time. If we do go in that direction, we can always go back and take out the noautolink directives, which is easily done.

-- RichardDonkin - 24 Sep 2001

So what you're saying now, its more like having some tag or (page)setting like dontshowuncreatedtopics: As soon as a BumpyWord gets created it would show up, otherwise the questionsmarks would be supressed....

-- HansDonner - 24 Sep 2001

mmm interesting idea.. you are both nutting out an interesting point... there are time that indicating that there is a potential WikiWord is a BadThing. Adding noautolinks to specific BumpyWords has unwanted side effects, ... Hans' suggestion has a different one. It could be a dissincentive for someone thinking about adding a topic.

  • Stupid idea alert - what if we use a markup that looks like SomePotentialTopic or SomePotentialTopic smile

-- SvenDowideit - 24 Sep 2001

Sven, you're absolutely right. If a vote would come about implementing the dontshowuncreatedtopics in the core, i would vote no indeed... But if I was forced to choose between no links and don't showing uncreated topics, I would go for the latter...

But this would solve the problem for Richard, so he may go ahead and use this locally....

-- HansDonner - 24 Sep 2001

I think Richard put it very well when he said that turning off auto-linking will be the exception, not the rule. Also interesting was the suggestion of using a double quote character for this. I've got caught a few times with linking text in html attribute e.g. title=".... LinkingText" (mainly because I've allow single word linking in one Web) - this causes the html to get in a real mess. However, it's hard to see an easy way forward on this. I've using the <noautolink> in some templates, but I think the general idea was that it was too confusing to push as a more general markup for users.

-- JohnTalintyre - 25 Sep 2001

I think that dontshowuncreatedtopics (or perhaps just a selectable markup for this, including one without questionmarks and one without any distinguishing markup compared to plain text) would solve this. I'd rather not have a local extension unless really necessary (I already have EasierExternalLinking as a local change), so I suppose I'll just use the noautolink for now.

-- RichardDonkin - 25 Sep 2001

I know it's late in the debate, but I would like to "vigourously oppose" the notion that users are too stupid to know when auto-linking WikiWords is not appropriate. TWiki is all about trusting the user to provide public information and they should have maximum flexibility in doing so. Heck, if you can't trust users to decide when NOT to link, maybe you shouldn't trust them to edit any pages at all.

I desparately need this feature to work because I'm embedding some JavaScript in my TWiki pages. There are cases when TWiki jumping in and forcibly inserting hyperlinks seriously gets in my way, and there are cases when it's just not practical to add <nop> or quote the word. I guess this is a support request, so off I go to the support web...

-- GladeDiviney - 26 Jun 2002

How about just using an existing html element, CODE , and telling Twiki to ignore StudlyCaps within code blocks? Most of the examples given for when to escape WikiWords were for computer code afterall...

As to the argument given above for not allowing people to enforces the attitude that some things don't ever need to be expanded on. Although you (personally) may not think that BumpyCase variables or functions should have WikiTopics for them, if someone dissagrees with you, and creates that topic, you have prevented it from being rendered as a link. This logic of this argument says verbatim and nop should be disallowed too. If anybody thinks an escaped BumpyWord really should be a link all they have to do is create a BumpyWord outside the escaped block.

-- MattWilkie - 26 Jun 2002

I would like to see a short method for DisableWikiWordLinks, and ideally the same method should work for other things like %VARIABLES% too. <nop> is all fine and dandy but it is rather difficult to type. How about just using the standard unix escape character of backslash to mean the following the object is literal? e.g.

  • \NotAWikiLink is rendered as NotAWikiLink
  • \%SKIN% is rendered as %SKIN%

-- MattWilkie - 07 Jan 2003

It may be the UNIX Old Timer in me but I like that a LOT better than the <nop>.

-- AntonAylward - 07 Jan 2003

On some other wiki somewhere I've seen ]]NotAWikiLink[[ syntax to disable hyperlinks. IMHO it looks less than UNIX hack: links are either in or out. More friendly to a non-geek user, IMHO.

-- PeterMasiar - 08 Jan 2003

Having just spent several days adding Java Documentation to our new Wiki, I have to add to this. Being that all Java Classes are generally the same as WikiWords, there's a whole lot of < nop >'ing going on.

I was going to suggest a prefixed exclamation mark, as I wouldn't expect to see that in usual documentation ie. !NotMarkedUp

I would be happy enough with the \ suggestion above by MattWilkie as well, but I like the fact that an unlinked word would have a question mark after it, so you can put an exclamation in front to say "this isn't a link".

Definitely don't want great long tags to turn it off... ... simple is good (tm).

-- MichaelKearns - 08 Jan 2003

I agree with Michael. I'm using TWiki to manage a development project that has many many BumpyCase words (variables, database table names, etc.) Putting <nop> in front of each of these words is a major nuisance. We consider <noautolink> a Godsend... smile

How about the ability to turn off autolinking on a per-page basis?

-- KevinJarnot - 04 Apr 2003

I think there's a compromise here: a setting to not add the "?" to undefined WikiWords, but still turn them into links if they exist. So it won't mess up the look of a page that's full of MixedCaseFunctionNames, but in the event that there are topics for them, or someone decides to make one, they still get the benefit of being auto-linked.

TWiki still needs the "auto-nop a whole block" thing to avoid messing up people's JavaScript or HTML tags, but I think it would be even more infrequently used if the above were also available.

Another option would be to come up with a less visually distracting way to indicate undefined WikiWords. I like the current way most of the time because it's really obvious and it should be really obvious, but in the case where it's in the way, what about just making the WikiWords "stealth" links -- the same color as the text, with no "?" after them. Seems a bit of an evil UI for novice users, but once you're familiar with TWiki it may not be so bad. Or there could be all sorts of possibilites with CSS - shading, boxes, dotted lines.. if it's subtle, it may not bother people so much. I get the feeling that the "?" is what's most at issue here.

-- ChristopherMasto 05 Apr 2003

I'm very late to this discussion, but I'll add my thoughts anyway. If I'm not using <PRE>, <VERBATIM>, or = to set off code, I don't mind automatic recognition of WikiWords. However, I don't see why undefined WikiWords need a trailing "?". Why can't the WikiWords be the links that will create the topic if it doesn't exist? One can always click on "Cancel edit" to avoid creating what doesn't exist. (Yes, I realize that the "?" immediately alerts the user -- before clicking -- that the topic doesn't exist, but I don't think it's that big a deal.)

Another approach would be to use a different link color for undefined WikiWords. Clicking on a red link, for example, means you wish to create the topic. Maybe dark gray is sufficiently close to black to keep the text readable without making it stand out from the rest like red would. The text, being a link, will still be underlined, but the color keeps it from standing out much. OK, maybe it should stand out a little better; would dark green be better in that regard? Anyway, the choice of color ought to be configurable, with a suitable default to complement the default blue links for normal links.

-- RobStewart - 13 Jun 2003

KwikiWiki uses colors fot non-existing pages. But it is build on CSS (and TemplateToolkit), not added as afterthought as here in Twiki. Extremenly easy to tweak and theme.

-- PeterMasiar - 14 Jun 2003

See Also DisablingWikiWordLinks - Globally enabling this feature.

-- JadeCravy - 03 Apr 2006

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Topic revision: r30 - 2006-04-03 - JadeCravy
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